Texas Newspaper Prints 43-Page Obituary Section As Coronavirus Deaths Soar

Novel coronavirus cases continue to surge in Texas, nearing 262,800 with in excess of 3,200 deaths, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The Houston Chronicle, the country's third-largest Sunday newspaper, has printed a standalone obituary section paying tribute to those who died this year, including deaths from COVID-19.

"Today's @HoustonChron (3rd largest Sunday paper in the US) has a standalone obituary section. It is 43 pages long. #covid," Twitter user @TexasVC wrote in a post on Sunday featuring images of the supplement.

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The section reportedly features around 900 obituaries, according to Twitter user @ShawnDCstudent, who noted: "By my calculations 43 pages x 21 on each page that equals 903 obituaries."

User @tlc814_cole noted: "It's not all COVID deaths [featured in the Houston Chronicle supplement] but I'm sure a good percentage are. My FIL is in this stand-alone section and he died of dementia. I believe the COVID link here is that the Chronicle is trying to help families grieve during this COVID pandemic when a normal funeral is not ok."

Several users attributed the deaths to what they consider to be the government's inadequate response to the outbreak.

"A damning indictment of how this virus has been mismanaged that something like this is in any newspaper is so tragic," wrote @fullstopmb.

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"This did not have to happen. Other countries took action and limited the deaths. So sad for the people that died and the families that lost loved ones because of complete lack of leadership from elected officials," wrote @raincity4life.

The latest newspaper tribute followed five days of around 80 to 100 daily COVID-19-related deaths in Texas. The seven-day rolling average of the daily death toll more than doubled in the past week, jumping from 37 on July 5 to 84 on July 12.

Texas saw a daily death count of 121 last Wednesday, the highest daily death toll reported since the outbreak began. The total new deaths recorded in the week from July 6 to 12 was 585, more than double the 259 total new fatalities recorded the previous week.

New cases continue to soar across the state, with a record 10,410 hospitalizations reported Sunday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

In the past few days, federal medical teams, including from the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were deployed across Texas to help local hospitals cope with the growing surge in COVID-19 patients.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also announced the extension of federal support for community-based testing sites in Dallas and Houston through July, the governor's office announced in a statement Sunday.

"There are over 900 testing sites across the state of Texas, and I urge Texans in need of a test to find a site nearest them," Abbott said in the statement.

United Memorial Medical Center Texas July 2020
A healthcare worker tends to a patient in the COVID-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas on July 2, 2020.

Novel coronavirus deaths in the U.S. have risen by nearly 50 percent in recent weeks. The country reported 5,181 total new deaths in the past week from July 6 to 12. This week's total marked a 43.5 percent increase from the 3,609 total new deaths recorded the previous week from June 29 to July 5, according to Worldometer.

The spike in daily new deaths came after mostly declining from around late April, when the country reported a peak daily death toll of nearly 2,800.

Over 12.9 million across the globe have been infected since the virus was first reported in Wuhan, China, including over 3.3 million in the U.S. More than 7.1 million globally have reportedly recovered from infection, while over 569,100 have died, as of Monday, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

July 11 COVID-19 Case Graph
This graph from Statista shows the surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Statista

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S.

Coronavirus Trajectory U.S. States Statista
Statista

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the countries with the most COVID-19 cases.

countries, most, coronavirus, covid-19, cases
A graphic provided by Statista shows the top ten countries with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of July 6. Statista
Texas Newspaper Prints 43-Page Obituary Section As Coronavirus Deaths Soar | News